Standoff at Agneepath: In the Defense Committee meeting, 6 out of 12 MPs raised questions on the recruitment process, said- withdraw the scheme immediately

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New DelhiOne hour agoWriter: Mukesh Kaushik

In the monsoon session of Parliament, the opposition has started preparations to surround the government over the Agneepath recruitment scheme announced for the armed forces. Under this scheme, the opposition MPs put the opinion of the Defense Minister Rajnath Singh in front of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh about radically changing the process of direct recruitment of soldiers in the army to jeopardizing the security of the country by recruiting short soldiers.

The government started by convening a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Defense Affairs to take the MPs into confidence about the benefits of the scheme. In the meeting, opposition MPs raised their voice against the plan to recruit firefighters instead of soldiers.

BJP MP said – benefits not counted on time
On the other hand, members of the ruling BJP praised the plan. However, Kailash Soni of BJP said that the benefits of the scheme were counted later. It would have been better if the same things were told together before implementing it. The advisory committee has 13 members from the Lok Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha. Of these, 12 members were present.

TMC-NCP also in opposition with Congress
Trinamool’s Saugata Roy, NCP’s Supriya Sule and Congress’ Shakti Singh Gohil submitted a written memorandum to the Defense Minister during the meeting demanding its withdrawal, enumerating the negative aspects of the scheme. Congress’s Shakti Singh Gohil also shared his views.

Major objections of opposition MPs

  • Those recruited under the scheme will not get promotion, will not get rank, will not get pension.
  • After 6 months of training and three and a half years of service, the youth who retires and goes to the village will not get the same respect that an ex-serviceman gets.
  • Agniveers will not get the status of ex-servicemen and other benefits of ex-servicemen like canteen etc. after 4 years.
  • CDS Bipin Rawat had also suggested to increase the retirement age to 58 years to reduce the pension of the army.
  • The government did not take the youth into confidence before implementing this scheme. The scheme was not even implemented in a pilot manner.
  • Questions on the future after retirement of Agniveers {MPs said that the promise of recruitment in para-military forces, PSUs is not fulfilled.
  • For ex-servicemen 10% of the jobs are reserved in Group C and 20% in Group D, but in reality only 1.29% and 1.66% of the jobs could be given.
  • It has been said to give 10% jobs to ex-servicemen in central forces. But less than 1% of ex-servicemen have got jobs.

Demonstrations in many places including Bihar-Jharkhand
In June, the Agneepath scheme was opposed in many states including Bihar-Jharkhand. The youth also demonstrated violently at many places in Bihar for 3 days. According to the East Central Railway, railway property worth Rs 700 crore was destroyed during the violent protests. However, after the demonstration, several concessions were announced by the government.

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